Making Space – An Advent Devotional

Devotional

Giving From A Place Of Gratitude


“Bah Humbug.” The phrase rang out from the tape recorder. I was about 10 years old, listening to an audio book I’d received as my Christmas present. The book on tape was about a mean old guy called Ebenezer Scrooge who didn’t like Christmas one bit. You may recall it was written by a somewhat well-known author by the name of Charles Dickens.


I followed along in my book, images of the hook-nosed Scrooge in his nightshirt indelibly etched in my mind. In my 10-year-old opinion, Scrooge seemed beyond hope. How could anyone hate Christmas? 


But then came the heartwarming turnaround. The guy, who bah-humbuged Christmas, woke up a redeemed man, full of love and goodwill. He secretly sent a turkey to the poor-but-joyful Cratchit family. Christmas became about compassion.


Maybe you and I are not grouchy old Scrooges. But if we stop long enough, we can see areas in our lives where we could use transformation. A transformation that comes from God working to change us from the inside out.


So often, our Christmas good works are on the outside. We write a check, we fill a shoebox to ship to needy kids, sponsor a meal at an orphanage. All of those are wonderful things. But without a transformation from its-all-about-me to I-want-to-give-God-glory, those good works become meaningless. 


This Christmas, let’s look at the intention behind our giving. Is it just another activity? Or is it a response to how much God has done for us that we can’t help but bless others? When we ponder on the One who gave it ALL, we give from a place of gratitude. 


Prayer


Father, if I pause long enough to truly examine myself, I realize that my acts of giving are sometimes meaningless. It’s just another blip on my Christmas calendar. But, Lord, I pray for a heart transformation. I pray that my giving is a response of gratitude to ALL that I’ve received from You.  Amen